Stapedectomy is an operation to remove the fixed stapes and to replace it with a prosthesis. This allows sound vibrations to be transmitted properly to the inner ear fluids for hearing.
Otosclerosis refers to a growth of bone in the ear that develops around the stapes, fixing it in place so that it will not vibrate properly. This fixation stops some of the sound vibrations from reaching the inner ear fluids, causing therefore hearing loss.
The stapes is the third of the three little hearing bones in the middle ear that transmit sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear fluid so that we can hear. We hear when sound vibrations set the EARDRUM in motion. The eardrum, in turn, activates the first middle ear bone, the MALLEUS. It, in turn, sets the second middle ear bone, the INCUS, in motion. It, in turn, causes the third middle ear bone, the STAPES, to vibrate. The stapes sets the inner ear fluids in motion which excites the hearing nerve to carry the sound on to the brain. It is by this mechanism that we hear.
Causes Of Otosclerosis
Otosclerosis is not a cancerous growth or a tumor, but, rather, a somewhat self-limited growth of bone in such an area as to cause difficulty in hearing. It only occurs in the ear. Otosclerosis is hereditary and is often seen in more than one member in a family. Its hereditary nature, however, is somewhat irregular. It is not unusual to see otosclerosis only in one member of a family.
Surgery For Otosclerosis
The conductive type of hearing loss caused by otosclerosis is usually correctable by surgery called stapedectomy. Such a hearing loss is possible to be overcome with a hearing aid. Most patients find that it is more convenient, more comfortable, and more satisfying, however, to hear naturally through their own ear rather than through a hearing aid.
Otosclerosis is not an emergency situation and surgery for otosclerosis need not be done immediately. The surgery is to help the patient to hear better. The timing for the surgery is strictly at the patient's discretion. V. What is the surgery like?
The Day Of Surgery
Surgery can be done under local ansesthesia or general anesthesia. We prefer to use general anesthesia, i.e. the patient is asleep during the operative procedure. During the operative procedure the eardrum is gently lifted, the diseased and fixed stapes is removed. Next, a prosthesis is put in place. The eardrum is gently put back into place and held there by absorbable packing ointment. The operation usually takes one hour and a half.
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